People come to TRE® for so many different reasons, ranging from everyday stress to military PTSD. I first discovered it while surfing the web, laid up in bed after a back injury! To put a face on TRE®, I want to introduce you to some of the people who use it to create a healthier, happier life. My new blog feature, Five Questions, will give you a better sense of how real people use this powerful self-healing tool. My first interview is with Susan Birney of Los Angeles.

Susan enjoying a hike in the local foothills.

Susan enjoying a hike in the local foothills.

Tell me a little about yourself:

I am forty-five and married with three teenagers. I’m a middle school teacher by profession, but recently decided to step away from other people’s children in the classroom to focus on raising my own three teens.

What brought you to TRE®?

A couple of years ago, memories of early childhood trauma surfaced. I finally got help and was working through the story and the bodily sensations that got locked in through the early trauma. About a year ago, a doctor I saw recommended TRE®. I initially tried to do it at home, by myself, but felt it was a better experience in a group. Now I am able to do it on my own, but I still really like the group class setting.

What was your attitude about TRE® before you started? Were you skeptical it could make a difference? Or are you someone who is eager to try new modalities?

I was definitely open; in my case, the tremor response was first turned on during a chiropractic adjustment. Having done enough work in the body, I recognized the release of pent up energy to be good. The (therapeutic) tremors went on for TWO hours. It felt nice—better out than in. I also realized maybe all our healing work doesn’t have to have a story. I can just let the body take care of itself. This realization came as such a relief. I was interested in learning how to turn it on when I want to.

There wasn’t any stress or story associated with TRE®. It didn’t seem like “hard work.” Sometimes we’re even unaware of the story—think of all the bumps or falls of childhood. We may not realize it, but the body continues to hold on to these unresolved felt sensations until we let them go. And the body can take care of itself if I just let it do its thing.

Can you describe some of the mental or physical benefits that you have derived from TRE®?

I especially notice the mental benefits. Even my kids will say, “Mom, did you skip TRE® this week?”” When things happen to you at a tender age, you lock up tight and you shut down. You just become used to being shut down, and everything is potentially a threat. You go through life with this and you don’t even notice that you are doing it.

With TRE®, I can loosen the spring and not have to carry and hold on to so much. It is really an emotional benefit. Sometimes I’ll be experiencing physical pain, too, and after the tremor response in TRE®, I will realize, “Wow—that knot I had doesn’t hurt anymore!

What surprised you most about your experience?

I’ve worked in therapy with a somatic therapist. Sometimes, with TRE®, I will get a sense that I know the story (of past trauma) behind the tremors. I recently found that I can use somatic awareness and TRE® together. One can help me engage the other to finally resolve old injuries. It is really fantastic when you can take the work to the next level. TRE® doesn’t have to be a stand-alone; It can work hand in glove with some of these other tools that we use to move out of trauma.

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